In the competitive world of college theater, students may wait countless semesters until they are able to land a lead role in the main production.
Sophomore theater major Hayley Koger, 20, is not one of those students.
Koger’s theater career began when she saw a production of the famous musical “Annie” in her hometown of Columbus, Ga. In the seventh grade, she took part in a summer program at the Springer Opera House and participated every summer upon graduation from Columbus High School in 2011.
“It was such an amazing program,” Koger said. “It was a conservatory-style institution that enabled the young kids to take various theatre and musical classes. I really learned a lot from it.”
During her time at Columbus High School, Koger was extremely active in the school theater department, holding roles in performances such as “Hairspray,” “Our Town” and “All Shook Up.”
In addition to these roles, she has won multiple awards for her theater achievements. She won Best Supporting Actress at a state One Act competition and was listed in the “Page One Awards” runner-up in drama for the Ledger Inquirer in Columbus, Ga.
With all of these roles and achievements, Koger knew that she wanted to continue her theater career during her time at Georgia College.
“I was really drawn to the GC Department of Theatre when I saw their production of ‘1940s Radio Hour’ my senior year of high school,” Koger said. “I knew they were the perfect program for me, and I couldn’t wait to be a part of it.”
The GC Department of Theatre Director Amy Pinney also holds a very high opinion of Koger.
“Hayley Koger is an extraordinary actress, an honor student and a fantastic singer,” Pinney said. “Her academic work is excellent, and she could do anything she wants to do, but clearly she belongs on stage. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her this early in her career.”
In addition to theater, Hayley is involved in the Alpha Psi Omega Honors Fraternity and the GC dance program. After college she plans to pursue acting professionally while obtaining a master’s degree or higher so that she can one day teach theatrical arts at a university.
GC students, faculty and staff can catch Koger in the upcoming musical comedy “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.”
“I am beyond excited about this production because it is so relatable,” Koger said. “It is a series of love vignettes that are absolutely hysterical. I guarantee that everyone will be able to relate to the themes of this play.”
Since the play only consists of four people, the multiple roles are divided amongst the cast. Koger herself acts out about 14 different roles ranging in size and hilarity.
“One of my characters is a bridesmaid, and she sings a song called ‘Always a Bridesmaid,’ which is hilarious because every girl dreads only being a bridesmaid,” Koger said. “She is the stereotypical, bitter single girl.”
“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” will run Feb. 20-24 in the 1,000-seat Russell Hall Auditorium. Performances Wednesday through Saturday are at 8 p.m. and the Sunday matinee starts at 2 p.m.